I loved this book. There is no doubt that Susan Casey is an incredibly talented writer and it shows here. While it's hard to make a subject like greatI loved this book. There is no doubt that Susan Casey is an incredibly talented writer and it shows here. While it's hard to make a subject like great whites and a forbidding set of nearly uninhabitable islands boring, she could have very well written a bad book. She didn't. I'm torn about being judgy here because it's well worth the read and my details are going to make it sound like Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, which it's not.
Casey is certainly not your everywoman - in the beginning I would empathize with the brief foray into her emotional life as tied to the islands, and as the book went on it got harder and harder for me to do so. At first I wondered why, and by the end it was pretty glaringly obvious. You're not going to connect with the reader with lines about roughing it like "I always felt sexier than I'd ever felt walking around Manhattan all cleaned up and wearing Gucci heels or La Perla underpants." Yes, well. Then there's the time where she details shopping preparations for the big trip and blows $160 on an antique Ouija board to take with her. I felt like this was supposed to be a bonding moment between she and the reader gone horribly awry. She's sitting there, saying in between the lines "Aren't we so silly sometimes?" Instead of sharing the moment and laughing along with her I could only think "Yes, wow, that was rather stupid."
I was annoyed by the ending, and the more I think about it, I'm just boggled. Forgive this for being awkward, as I want to give as little away as possible: I suppose given the events that occur, it could not be glossed over in a paragraph or two. But I picked up this book to read about the sharks, and I want to continue reading about the sharks, and what she did really doesn't square with journalistic integrity. Oh, and I have to laugh, because another reviewer commented on the subject of underthings - how she takes care to note the SMALL size of her (some brand name, probably ridiculously expensive!) thermals as they're floating out to sea. This line in the book also struck me as so odd. A major catastrophe happened, and your way to describe it is by zeroing in on brand name/size?
And is it necessarily wrong to not be the everywoman? Of course not. Just have some finesse about it. Mistakes happen. Shit happens. But I found it so difficult to empathize with her given her delivery, and her justifications so pat that I could only shake my head. ...more
So conflicted about this book. First it was just ok, it took her 200 pages to really set the stage and you're immediately placed into the middle of thSo conflicted about this book. First it was just ok, it took her 200 pages to really set the stage and you're immediately placed into the middle of this frenetic, brash family. I disliked the majority of characters but I felt really invested in finding out what would happen - the difference between a bad and a good book, I would say. It got much better as things began to snowball, and wow, did they snowball. I never would have expected the last 150 pages or so from the beginning. And some of the characters really grew on me, while others I disliked even more by the end. Overall I was just fascinated once she did this grand reveal that sets in motion much of the rest of the plot how quickly I got caught up in the story and how it was used to really reveal the psychology behind a number of the characters. Very much recommended despite my ambivalence about the book when I began it....more
3 stars just seems to be pushing it... not a bad book per se, but I wouldn't recommend it without caveats. I skimmed through this in two nights, and i3 stars just seems to be pushing it... not a bad book per se, but I wouldn't recommend it without caveats. I skimmed through this in two nights, and it's decent enough to glean information from - especially given I've been using YNAB, a budget program that seems to use some of the principals in here pretty heavily.
But has anyone COUNTED how many times this book says "Total Money Makeover"? Right, I know, branding and all that bullshit, but when does it become so egregious even a marketing expert can't justify it? I enjoyed his tough love "I screw up too" tone - really, he seems like a genuinely likeable guy - and managed to ignore that being I am female, I apparently have a "security gland" that wires me to understand the value of a nest egg among other things.
I felt the lack of touching on student loans beyond "don't let your kids get one" is a pretty glaring oversight. While it wasn't a hot button issue when the book was first published in 2003, it is now and the book has been updated (It's possible that it has been covered in an edition different from mine). It would have been nice to get more solid advice about paying off such a debt rather than "do it ASAP, working 2-3 jobs if you have to: "which all the people I know do with a smile because they are getting a TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER." But then, that would probably be expecting too much from a book that preaches and pushes that with bootstraps and no debt thanks to THE TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER, EVERYONE AND ANYONE CAN BE WEALTHY!!
Use this to get ideas, things like the "debt snowball" (copyrighted yet?) are useful but just know that if it doesn't work for you it's because you have not fully committed to the TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER. Oh, and the financial work sheets at the back are really helpful....more
Brilliant. One of those books where you believe you've started on even ground, your opinions set, and as the book goes on they slowly shift. I adoredBrilliant. One of those books where you believe you've started on even ground, your opinions set, and as the book goes on they slowly shift. I adored every moment, and even while I was doing other things my mind was in Rendell's world. Also, this is more a character study than one driven by plot, and often one of my biggest complaints about mysteries. So often characters are so flimsy as to be paper thin, as if the focus on plot allows one to forgo deep characterization.
By the last 40 pages it was actually difficult to finish because I didn't want it to end. I'm daydreaming about trips to the library to bring home a stack of Rendell's other books. If only I had access. Sigh!...more
Pretty good. At first this had me rolling my eyes a bit. I didn't like the narration style at all, it seemed a little silly - and at first it was quitPretty good. At first this had me rolling my eyes a bit. I didn't like the narration style at all, it seemed a little silly - and at first it was quite the caricature of his intermingling with the privileged American upperclass. But the narration style became less front and center and the caricatures were quickly fleshed out.
There is a lot of important commentary here about the US, and it was actually quite a suspenseful book. The foreshadowing is quite good. I do wish there had been a more in depth, pointed focus on the impact American policies had on Pakistan - the focus was on the protagonist's anguish and if it had been more balanced I think I would have been able to connect with that more. Still, it is from the viewpoint of someone who comes from a country that is irrevocably impacted by US policies, one that if given audience at all in the US is seen as a lack of patriotism and respect.
Lastly, really interesting ending. I won't elaborate as not to give away anything important but it COMPLETELY flips the viewpoint of the book. Overall I enjoyed it....more
This book turned around rapidly within 50 pages. Maybe that's not enough to warrant the slog through the first 400 pages, but the last 500 flew by. IThis book turned around rapidly within 50 pages. Maybe that's not enough to warrant the slog through the first 400 pages, but the last 500 flew by. I adored Sugar, and other characters who were just tiresome in the beginning blossomed from mere caricatures to complex people I enjoyed. Instead of groaning upon coming upon their chapters, I continued with relish....more
2.5iiish - Harriet and her family are going to stay with me for a very long time. I adored Harriet, but this book was at least 200 pages longer than i2.5iiish - Harriet and her family are going to stay with me for a very long time. I adored Harriet, but this book was at least 200 pages longer than it had to be. Luckily it picked up in the second half....more